Autism is not a disability, just a disorder! Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an array of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social interaction, interests, communication, and behavior. Here are some famous people who dared to dream even with their autistic conditions and came out successful in the limelight. So, the question is: Do you dare to dream of Autism?
- Temple Grandin
was played by Claire Danes in a 2010 biopic. A renowned advocate for the autistic community now, Temple Grandin was diagnosed at 2 with “brain damage” (the term ‘autism’ was not popular), and the doctors accordingly recommended institutionalization. Grandin’s mother instead went ahead for treatment from the best specialists.
In the words of Temple, “The thing about being autistic is that you keep on learning how to behave and how to focus and you gradually get less autistic”. Now a professor at Colorado State University, she has written several books on autism to share her insights and personal experience of being autistic.
- Tim Burton
Although never formally diagnosed, Helena Bonham Carter, ex-wife of Tim Burton confirms that Tim probably has Aspergers, a form of autistic disorder. She realized it when Tim explained how he felt as a child, while they watching a documentary on Autism.
As a child, Tim Burton, the director of Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas was an introspective boy who had trouble with social interaction. That helped him develop qualities of humor and imagination which his films have time and again proved.
- Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd, the all-time-favoriteGhostbusters hero, suffers from ASD, Tourette Syndrome and has shown signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
His ASD led him to become obsessed with ghosts and law enforcement and that exactly credited his role in the movie. As told to Britain’s Daily Mail in 2013, Dan used to carry around a police badge with him as a young boy and was obsessed with Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever.
- Daryl Hannah
Although diagnosed with Autism as a child, Daryl Hannah revealed to People magazine in 2013 that she was autistic. The actress said that autism left her cripplingly shy and public events were thus a nightmare.
The actress who had acted in movies like Vice and Kill Bill leads a quieter life now and had confessed that “I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted.”
- Susan Boyle
While Susan Boylemesmerized the world with her voice in Britain’s Got Talent, she secretly battled with ASD which was misdiagnosed as “brain damage”. Susan said that her childhood was filled with instances of being bullied for being strange and unusual than the other kids in the block.
Finally, in her early fifties, Susan was correctly diagnosed with ASD and she told the Press that it was a big relief to have a better understanding of the condition rather than being tagged as brain damage.
- Satoshi Tajiri
People with autism tend to have fixations and specializations and Mr. Satoshi Tajiri was obsessed with collecting insects and gaming in his youth. With his obsession, he went on to become the inventor of Pokemon. Satoshi has gone on record saying that he wanted the games to give children a similar joy as he had during his bug collection.
People with autism tend to take up collecting as a hobby, so Satoshi gave them and everyone else a gift of collecting Pokemon that he created! Although Mr. Satoshi Tajiri has confirmed that he has Autism, he does not publicly talk about his condition and would rather remain away from the spotlight, focusing on work and on pursuing his own interests above fame and fortune. He is yet another example of how relentless focus and drive in spite of an autistic condition can pave the road to success.
These famous people are proof that when guided correctly, ASD can enhance children’s ability to learn about a topic that they are passionate about, and even help them envision meaningful goals. But what’s more important is the love and encouragement that autistic people need, to visualize and pursue their dream.